Adjudicators, guardians, and enforcers
Taking the role of non-governmental organisations in customary international lawmaking seriously
in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
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The chapter offers a constructivist account of the burgeoning roles non-governmental organisations have assumed in the making of customary international law. While most of these roles are informal, and their influence on the content and interpretation of customary international law norms has been primarily indirect, non-governmental organisations do contribute to the formation of customary international law through an increasingly diverse set of activities. Non-governmental organisation documentation, litigation, lobbying, and other forms of advocacy have contributed to treaty-making and ratification; to the domestication and internalisation of international norms and processes, including domestic accountability and remedies; and to codifying the obligations of, and stimulating practice by non-State actors such as business and armed groups. Despite a broad acknowledgement of the increasing involvement of non-governmental organisations in global governance by scholars and practitioners, their role in customary international lawmaking remains under-appreciated. To understand the increased influence of non-governmental organisations on the identification, formation, and application of customary international law rules, the chapter offers a differentiated, effects-based account of non-governmental organisation participation in customary international lawmaking.

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